Van Dijk, Alisson, Trippier in: Three Newcastle players make combined XI with Liverpool

Jason Soutar
Newcastle Liverpool combined XI

Newcastle might be above Liverpool in the table, but this combined XI is still dominated by the Reds. Class is permanent and all that.


Goalkeeper: Alisson (Liverpool)
The first name on the teamsheet between these two sides embroiled in a fierce and toxic rivalry is Liverpool’s No. 1 Alisson.

Nick Pope has actually been really impressive for Newcastle since joining from Burnley last summer, but the numbers are absolutely in Alisson’s favour. Even if Pope makes our transfers XI.


Right-back: Kieran Trippier (Newcastle)
Time to pretty much contradict my selection process at the earliest possible opportunity. While Kieran Trippier is having a better season than Trent Alexander-Arnold, you could say the latter is definitely the better player. But I have given the nod to Trippier, who is more reliable, in my humble opinion. I bet a certain Mr. Southgate agrees with me.


Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
He may be a bit worse than he was pre-ACL injury, but he is still Virgil van Dijk, and he waltzes into this team.


Centre-back: Sven Botman (Newcastle)
Sven Botman has been one of the signings of the season. He is ridiculously consistent and is yet to taste defeat in the Premier League. It is worth mentioning for the first time that Newcastle’s only top-flight loss this season came at Anfield courtesy of a 98th-minute Fabio Carvalho goal. The Magpies’ defensive partnership that day was Jamaal Lascelles and Dan Burn.


Left-back: Andy Robertson (Liverpool)
Newcastle left-back Burn has been brilliant, but there is no debating this one I’m afraid.


Defensive midfield: Fabinho (Liverpool)
Fabinho doesn’t get in over Bruno Guimaraes, he will be his teammate (sorry for the spoiler). Choosing between the two would be bloody hard. Fabinho hasn’t been himself this season, but has any Liverpool player?


Centre midfield: Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle)
What a signing Guimaraes has been for Newcastle. The first big-money buy under the new ownership, the Brazilian has more than lived up to the hype. As an Arsenal fan, I really wish we’d signed him.

Chelsea-linked Guimaraes


Centre midfield: Thiago (Liverpool)
Another player struggling this season, Thiago is a world-class player on his day with arguably the best technical ability in the Premier League. While Joelinton has been ace under Eddie Howe, he doesn’t come close to the Spanish playmaker.


Right winger: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
It is pretty mad that Mohamed Salah is having what can be regarded as a bad season, and he still has 18 goals across all competitions.

The Egyptian beats Miguel Almiron to a spot here. While the Paraguayan has improved a ludicrous amount and has been clinical in front of goal in 2022/23, he was obviously never going to get in over Salah.


Striker: Diogo Jota (Liverpool)
There are lots of Liverpool options for this position, yet none of them are actually natural out-and-out strikers. In my opinion, Diogo Jota is the best player out of Cody Gakpo, Roberto Firmino and Darwin Nunez, and he is also superior to Newcastle’s Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak.

Jota is back after a lengthy injury absence, and his return could be pivotal as the Reds look to topple Newcastle on Saturday and ultimately finish above them.


Left winger: Cody Gakpo (Liverpool)
Liverpool’s January signing makes my team, which is probably the most controversial inclusion. Gakpo has not hit the ground running at Anfield, but he has joined a team going through an extremely difficult spell, has been playing in several positions while trying to find his feet, and is adapting to a new, quicker, and much better league, respectively.

Luis Diaz would probably get in my team if he wasn’t injured. He has been out since the loss at Arsenal in October. He is another player Jurgen Klopp will be desperate to have back.


Manager: Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Speaking of Klopp, he is the better manager out of himself and Eddie Howe. Take nothing away from the job Howe is doing at St James’ Park, and the incredible season his team are having, but this was an easy decision.